THE SHIPPING COMPANY
SHIPPING companies are organized for the purpose of run-
ning direct lines and regular services between certain ports,
or for the purpose of owning vessels which may be chartered
as and when business is offered. Reference to chartering is
made in a special chapter, and here it is necessary to con-
sider only the work and organization of a liner company.
The term Hner^ does not necessarily include only a large
vessel of the Queen Mary type, but includes any vessel
which regularly runs on a service between certain ports. A
tramp steamer is one which sails here and there, picking up,
"Business on its course; many so-called tramp steamers are
better equipped and in better condition than some "liners."
The shipping company, having ascertained where they
intend to develop a service, arrange for a number of vessels
to serve the selected route, making weekly or fortnightly
calls according to the cargo which may be offered.
It is the duty of the company in their own interest to
provide speedy and safe vessels, keeping them fit for a con-
tinuous service. As a matter of interest, it may be observed
that many companies purchase new vessels from time to
time and place them on the service together with their
older vessels; but it is not practical to run the new vessels
at a greater speed than the old, otherwise the regularity
of the service would become disorganized.
Having in mind the necessity for replacements in order to
retain trade in competitive markets, the shipping company
should provide for depreciation in order that their vessels
may continuously be brought up to date and modernized.
Striking examples have been seen where companies have
retained old boats and never made replacements until
eventually their business has completely dwindled away
and their ships have become valueless. Strict rules cannot